St Paul’s Cathedral, London
We’re pretty excited to be heading to London next spring for our first workshop here! So we thought we’d share one of our favorite discoveries while scouting earlier this year, St Paul’s Cathedral!
We were really surprised by how much we loved exploring this space given we usually prefer photographing modern architecture. There are so many areas to explore from an architectural photography standpoint. From the ornate perspectives you’d expect from such a historic church to more minimalistic options in the crypt.
This will be our first stop of the workshop and we’ll spend an hour exploring all its spaces. As we enter at the back of the church a look up at the ceilings are already awe-inspiring. Go a bit wider or focus on the archway details. You can’t really go wrong here.
Now for the main attraction, the dome! While tripods aren’t allowed in here, as is the case in most interior architecture locations, Michael got away with using his platypod on the ground for a straight-up, symmetrical shot of this space. Many copycats followed by placing their cameras on the floor 😉 So, even if you don’t have a platypod, you can get this shot by setting your camera on the ground or standing under the center of the dome. The wider the better in this space!
As you head beyond the alter there are even more beautiful ceilings to draw your attention. Symmetry in some form really works well in these spaces. However, you can get more creative and angle your camera for something more dynamic. Even we forget this sometimes!
Looking back toward the front of the church, technically called the nave, from the choir is another beautiful perspective.
With a slight angle of the lens, a greater focus on the ornate ceiling.
Onto the crypt and an opportunity for some minimalistic images. The arches in this space are beautiful! It’s very dark down here so your ISO will be quite high to compensate. You can go a bit wider and showcase the space in a more realistic way.
Or you can get your telephoto out and zero in on the layering effect of all those curves for something even more minimalistic.
Back upstairs and just before heading out, don’t miss the Geometric Staircase, or officially the Dean’s Staircase. It’s nicknamed “geometric” because the treads of the staircase are set only 150mm into the wall, then float out into the air. The staircase goes from the Crypt to the Library. As with any spiral staircase it makes for great photo ops!
As an interesting note, you can walk the 528 stairs (or 365 feet) to the top of the dome, though we won’t have time during the workshop. We did this on our visit…whew, tiring! So, if you’re in London a bit longer might be worth a revisit if you’re up for the trek. It gets super narrow in areas and leads to two outdoor viewing points, also very narrow. Not a space for the claustrophobic. Both areas have some great views of London.
There’s also the Whispering Gallery, which was closed when we visited, but it should be open when we’re there for the workshop, which is a mere 259 stairs (or 112 feet) from ground level. There is no photography allowed here but seems like it’d really be an interesting viewpoint overlooking the ground from under the dome. Its name comes from its acoustic properties: a whisper against the wall at any point is audible to a listener with an ear held to the wall at any other point around the gallery.
There you have one of the many amazing London locations we’ll be visiting. There will be a nice mix of modern & historic throughout our 4 days here. If you have any questions or want more details on the workshop, head over to our workshop page and don’t forget to take advantage of the earlybird discount, $200 off through October 28, 2019!